Born 9 March 1902 in Lewisville, Alabama to Ella Mae MARTIN and Joseph James McKENZIE, I remember most her deep faith in God and her ability to quote biblical scripture at will.
I still chuckle at the thought of returning to Cincinnati in 1995 with a severe Caesar cut (yes — I’d shaved all the curls down to a barely visible shadow), and being informed by my Grandma that there was no shame in a wig — God would respect my crown anyway he could get it!:-)
I still marvel at the strength both of my Great Grandmothers possessed. Both survived poverty and less than easy Husbands, yet remained steadfast in God and Family. Never appearing to waiver.
Like most of the Barwick/McKenzie women, Grandma was blessed with long-life, transitioning on 11 March 2002, at the age of 100 years old.
The poem below, was written by my older Brother, William, for her 100th Birthday and was read at her Home Going Service.
How timely that it would be presented here today on this Sentimental Easter Sunday 2010, as my Barwick timestamp for Grandma’s Hand…
I think about my Grandma
and I think of loving hands,
Two hands that do their best
to carry out the Lord’s commands…
Two hands that clap in joy fullness
while she joins in a song,
Two hands that hug and comfort,
as she passes love along…
Two hands that are my Grandma’s
that have always done their part
To spread the love of Jesus,
so abiding in her heart.
I think about you. Grandma,
and I see a gentle model of the kind
of life that everyone should live…
You’ve built a strong foundation on the
solid ground of faith in God by always giving
all that you can give.
I thank you for the joy you are to all the
family members and for being just what
you were meant to be,
A person full of dignity,
of love and laughter for the Lord —
a Grandma who means everything to me.
Happy Birthday, With Love
Written by Great Grandson, William Marshall
With all my heart, I love and miss you Grandma.
[Note: Image of Grandma, Lena Mae Barwick McKenzie, with my Cousin, Ralph Byrd. Although the year is unknown, knowing my Grandma, she was dressed for church!:-]